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Study Finds New Program Reduces Absenteeism in Primary Schools

Empty school desk

A pilot program reduced absenteeism in elementary schools by an average of 10 percent, according to a new study by Duke researchers. Chronic absenteeism is linked to poor grades, low test scores and eventually, dropping out of high school. While most truancy prevention efforts focus on middle and high school students, the Early Truancy Prevention Program concentrates on first- and second-grade students. The pilot was field-tested at five schools in a mid-sized North Carolina school district. This is among the first programs for primary school students that has been effective in improving absenteeism rates.


North Carolina Leadership Forum Begins Second Year with Focus on Energy

man climbs to roof of a building with solar panels

In these days of extreme political polarization, how do you get people from all political stripes working together and finding solutions? You start with a story. Such as the story of Horace Pritchard, whose family has lived in Pasquotank County for five generations.  On the family land he farms corn, wheat, soybeans and now, wind. Or the story of how an energy cooperative on Ocracoke Island is weathering hurricanes and keeping the power on through North Carolina first micro-grid of alternate energy sources. The North Carolina Leadership Forum (NCLF) -- launched last year by POLIS: The Duke Center for Political Leadership, Innovation and Service -- brings together civic, business and political leaders to discuss the problems facing North Carolina and develop possible solutions acceptable to both liberal and conservative leaders.


DukeEngage Detroit Experience Inspires Student’s Honors Thesis

When Keiley Gaston first set foot in Detroit in summer 2016, she had no idea the city would end up informing her studies for the next year. Gaston, a senior public policy and economics double major who is also pursuing a 4+1 MPP program at Duke University, was in Detroit the summer after her sophomore year to intern at Build Institute as part of DukeEngage Detroit. She quickly fell in love with the city and its “cool, entrepreneurial vibe,” even getting her parents and friends to visit so she could show them around during her free time. During the fall semester of her junior year, Gaston went abroad, but she couldn’t stop thinking about Detroit.


Knight Foundation, Facebook and Craig Newmark provide funding to launch Duke Tech & Check Cooperative

Facts matter button on backpack

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Facebook Journalism Project and the Craig Newmark Foundation are awarding grants to the Duke University Reporters’ Lab for a $1.2 million project to automate fact-checking. The Duke Tech & Check Cooperative will bring together teams from universities and the Internet Archive to develop new ways to automate fact-checking and broaden the audience for this important new form of journalism.


Not your parents’ foreign aid: The shift from power to proximity and poverty

When President Donald Trump released his proposed budget earlier this year, policymakers on the left and right criticized his cuts to foreign aid and declared them a non-starter. Foreign aid, many lawmakers said, is a form of soft power, helping the United States achieve its interests in the world without resorting to more forceful tactics. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also responded to the proposed cuts, noting that aid saves the lives of children, decreases poverty, and is crucial to fighting disease. 


Sanford faculty books published in 2017

Sanford faculty have been busy writing! This year has been marked by an unusually high number of book releases by members of the Sanford School’s faculty.


#HumansofDukeSanford Wayne Wu MPP'18

MPP student Wayne Wu

"'Live an upright life, and serve with all your heart.' On the day of my high school graduation, my father wrote this sentence in traditional Chinese calligraphy and gave it to me as a gift. These words have since become a standard that I try to live up to. As the son of a senior Chinese government official living in Beijing, I had a privileged and sheltered childhood compared to most of my peers. My father, however, grew up in rural China during a much harder time. [...] I did not have to go through anything like that. I had access to everything I needed, simply because I was born into an affluent family. However, my father made sure I understood that my privilege comes with a responsibility to help those less fortunate. I am privileged because I can choose what I want to do with my life. Many people never had the luxury of choice. I chose public policy so I can pursue a career that might help giving people the chance they deserve."


Obama Security Advisor Discusses Foreign, Domestic Threats

Lisa Monaco speaks at the Sanford School, DUKE UNIVERSITY

Lisa Monaco, former assistant to the President Obama for homeland security and counterterrorism, praised the Trump administration for making progress on North Korea and the fight against ISIS during a talk Wednesday at the Sanford School of Public Policy. In recent days, the United Nations Security Council took action against North Korea, adding sanctions in an attempt to induce it to negotiate. Monaco credited the unanimous vote to U.S. leadership. North Korea and its nuclear aspirations had posed a big foreign policy and security challenge during her time in the White House, she said.


New Faculty Appointments at Sanford for 2017

The Sanford School has appointed five new scholars to the core faculty this academic year. Three are new to Duke University -- Duke University President Vincent Price, Robyn Meeks and Simon Miles, while two have new positions with the school: Linda Burton and Beth Gifford.


Policy 360 Ep. 49 Leadership

Does history make statesmen or do statesmen make history? A conversation with Bruce Jentleson about his forthcoming book The Peacemakers: Lessons Learned from 20th Century Statesmanship.


Bull City 150 Exhibit Opening on Durham History, Housing and Inequality

 A new exhibit will examine the deep historical roots of gentrification, the racial wealth gap and housing discrimination in Durham.


Obama’s Chief Counterterrorism Adviser to Speak at Sanford

Lisa Monaco

Lisa Monaco, chief counterterrorism and homeland security adviser to President Obama during his second term, will speak at Duke Wednesday, Sept. 13, as part of an annual series of events around the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  As the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, Monaco was responsible for policy coordination and crisis management on issues ranging from terrorist attacks at home and abroad to natural disasters and cybersecurity. The Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture, “Counterterrorism in the Trump Era,” will take place at 6 p.m. in the Sanford School of Public Policy’s Fleishman Commons.